Martin O’Neill freely admitted to being a bad loser who will take several days to get over the sting of defeat in his first match on his return to the City Ground as Nottingham Forest’s manager.
As a Forest player, O’Neill knew the standards set by Brian Clough were high and feared defeat could cost him his place in the side.
As a manager the Northern Irishman has set his own high standards, leading to successful spells at Leicester City, Celtic and Aston Villa before a stint in charge of the Republic of Ireland. His first assignment at stuttering Forest, who have won only one of their past nine matches, was made trickier by injuries and suspensions. A patchwork defence was stretched to the limit by in-form Bristol City, who spoiled O’Neill’s homecoming with a one-goal victory.
O’Neill said: “I’ve always been pretty poor at dealing with bad results. It was bad enough when I was a player. I was always last out of the dressing room.
“When I was a player here, losing could threaten your position in the team. When I played here, Forest were a good team and were generally winning anyway.